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President Obama re-elected, and the geeks with their models got it right.

Prez wins re-election

President Obama won a tough battle last night over Mitt Romney and has been re-elected to President of the United States. In the electoral count, it will end up (after Florida gets declared this morning) a total of 332-206 Obama.. which was 29 more then I thought he’d get, as I wasn’t expecting Florida to go Obama’s way.

If you take a look at that electoral map, here’s something worth considering: Obama was widely considered to have a comfortable margin in polling before the first debate in Denver. He had a poor debate, when he let Mitt Romney go unchallenged on main points. It allowed Romney back in the race, before Obama subsequently did regain his mojo over the next 2 debates, as well as the approval he got for the handling of Hurricane Sandy. I honestly don’t see how this map would have changed much even if Obama had had a great or even average first debate. Perhaps he would have won North Carolina, instead of losing it by a couple of points, but otherwise, the only thing I think the bad first debate did was make the polling returns closer in the swing states.

Secondly, a big shout-out to the math/stats geeks – Nate Silver and others like him such as Sam Wang – whose models not only correctly called the election, but did so in near perfect fashion. Nate was front and center with the conservatives and pundits claiming his model was too skewed in the Democratic voter’s favor, and there was no way he could make such a confident prediction (91%) before the election started yesterday) but his model was vindicated. So was Sam Wang’s, who didn’t get as much publicity, but whose model was even more bullish then Silver’s on Obama’s chances of re-election. Next election around (which will be the Congressional Midterms in 2014), these folks cannot so easily be ignored by the pundits or those partisans screaming bias at them (and that goes for the Dems, if those model show a Republican resurgence for example).

By the way, check out in a day or 2 how Nate’s prediction of popular vote panned out. He had it last night at 50.8% for Obama, and 48.3% for Romney, and I think he won’t be far off of that either.

EDIT: Right now, very interesting: Google has the POP vote right now as Obama 50.3%, 48.1%. Nate Silver’s model predicted O 50.8 – 48.3. This guy is good.


1 comment to President Obama re-elected, and the geeks with their models got it right.

  • John

    I thinking in the end that Popular vote count will be even closer to matching Nate’s expectation, if not slightly exceeding it.

    The outstanding precincts are almost entirely west coast (including a big chunk of California), urban votes in a few cities across the US, and provisional ballots, all of which will tend to increase the President’s margin.

    Nate is good, which is why he was attacked so vehemently this year.

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